Chapter

AUSTRIA

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2000
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Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: August 1, 1962.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyAs of January 1, 1999, the currency of Austria is the euro. In cash transactions, however, the legal tender remains the Austrian schilling until 2002, when euro banknotes and coins will be issued.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderAustria participates in a currency union (EMU) comprising 11 members of the EU: Austria Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Internal conversion rates in respect to the national currencies of EMU participants were fixed to the euro on January 1, 1999, whereas the external exchange rate of the euro is market determined. The conversion rate between the euro and the Austrian schilling was set at S 13.7603 per €1. The ECB has the right to intervene to smooth out fluctuations in external exchange rates.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with all countries may be made either in foreign currencies or through free euro accounts.
Payment arrangementsNo.
Bilateral payment arrangementsThere are no bilateral payment agreements; however, several bilateral agreements exist for the promotion and protection of investments, which include provisions on transfers between the signatories.
Administration of controlMost exchange transactions are effected through Austrian banks authorized by the central bank.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsRestrictions imposed on certain current payments and transfers to Libya in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution were lifted on May 1, 1999. Certain restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions to the government of Iraq are still in force. In compliance with EU regulations, restrictions on payments and transfers are imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro).
Payment arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesNo.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsThese are accounts affected by UN sanctions against Iraq and, by the virtue of EU regulations, sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro).
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresExport and import licenses must be issued by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs for industrial products and by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for agricultural products. As a member of the EU, Austria applies all import regulations based on the common commercial policy, i.e., for industrial products import restrictions in the textile and clothing sectors and statistical surveillance for products falling under the scope of the ECSC Treaty. There are also regulations vis-à-vis China for imports of some consumer products based on current EU law.
Positive listYes.
Licenses with quotasYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsAustria applies the Common Import Regime of the EU.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesLicenses for exports must be obtained from the relevant ministry or at the time of clearance from the customs authorities. For most exports, licenses are not required. Export licenses are issued with due consideration for the provisions of relevant EU trade agreements and the fulfillment of quotas established in accordance with such agreements, and the needs of the Austrian economy.
Without quotasYes.
With quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersNo.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsIn some cases, reporting requirements to the Austrian National Bank exist.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentIn the auditing and legal professions, the transport sector, and the electric power generation sector certain restrictions apply for investments by nonresidents and Austrian residents who are not nationals of one of the countries of the EEA.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe acquisition of real estate is subject to approval by local authorities.
Controls on personal capital movementsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsReserve requirements apply only to deposits held in euro.
Liquid asset requirementsLiquid asset requirements apply only to deposits held in euro.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe net amount of an open foreign exchange position must not exceed 30% of own funds at the end of any business day; the total sum of all open positions must not exceed 50% of own funds. The euro is not considered a foreign currency.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidents and on portfolio invested abroadYes.
Limits (max.) on portfolio invested abroadYes.
Limits (min.) on portfolio invested locallyYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionYes.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 1999
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The currency of Austria became the euro. The conversion rate between the euro and the Austrian schilling was set irrevocably at S 13.7603 per €1.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMay 1. Restrictions imposed on certain current payments and transfers to Libya in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution were lifted.

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